Brother Can You Spare a Dime?

I still receive newsletters from a lot of TH’ing clubs even though I stopped doing the WET column years ago, and while I enjoy reading them they are a constant reminder of how much things have changed and just how out of touch I am.

One recent newsletter contained a flyer for a forthcoming club hunt and while I no longer attend these events I couldn’t help but notice the cost. It was a two-day hunt and if you wanted to participate in the main events it would cost you $165 in advance or $250 after a certain date. Now I am not adverse to spending money but damn that’s too rich for my blood and these prices did not include gas, lodging or meals.

Now I know there’s always the chance you “might” win a metal detector or dig up a few silver coins, but when all is said and done wouldn’t it be a lot easier to take that money and buy the detector you really want or invest it in a few key date coins that over time will increase in value?  And please, I know all about the camaraderie thing but unless you can spit nickels or pay a few of my bills, no way I am spending that kind of money.

Another item I saw that blew my mind was a for sale ad that read “Need to sell… wife says eight detectors too many”. Really? Only eight? Why not ten or twenty?  I mean hell you never know when the first seven might break down!  Call me old school if you want…I just don’t get it…sorry!

Guess you can never have too many....

Guess you can never have too many….

So tell me.  How much you are willing to pay for a seeded hunt and how many detectors you own?

 Come on now,  at least I didn’t start this post off with “when I was a kid”…..



A few people had questions about the Massachusetts petition effort I recently shared and thanks to Allyson Cohen from the Task Force, I received the following email:


First I’d like to thank everyone that has signed and shared my petition regarding the banning of metal detecting on Massachusetts DCR run beaches.

Apparently there were public hearings held in 2013 regarding the changing of regulations as they pertain to property operated by Mass DCR (Dept. of Conservation & Recreation).  I was not aware of these meetings or changes, therefore I wasn’t able to attend or attempt to address it at that time.

So when I was told on the beach that “things are changing” and metal detecting is no longer allowed, I felt the need to do something. I decided to start a petition to see what kind of response I could get to try and fight this ‘change’ in the rules for beach metal detecting. As of this email writing there are 469 signatures but I hope to have at least 1,000 signatures before attempting to hand it over to the DCR Commissioner.

There is also the concern that the petition will draw attention to beach metal detecting or detecting as a whole and cause more problems. This I’m not sure about. To me there is clearly going to be a ban on metal detecting DCR beaches in Mass because that DCR Ranger that approached me was adamant about it and walked a long way to tell me. He also told me there was a “meeting” and Rangers were ordered to enforce this.

So, my feeling is that I wait to get at least 1,000 signatures and I will continue to detect those beaches and see what happens.  There are a couple of others that I know who will continue to detect those beaches as well and will let me know if they are ordered to leave and/or ticketed.

I don’t want to ‘open a can of worms” but at the same time I don’t want to lose the right to beach metal detect. What will be next, parks and woodlands?

Please keep sharing and encouraging others to sign the petition, even if they don’t live in Massachusetts. People do come from other states to vacation and metal detect.  Massachusetts has some of the oldest and historic beaches in the USA. Help me preserve our right to engage in our hobby of metal detecting in Massachusetts.

Thank you,
Roger Barbrick/Concerned detectorist




John Howland sent me the following for the Malamute Saloon but since it’s short I thought I would share it here as well.  It is of course about our dear friend in Warsaw….the ever present, all-knowing and self anointed archaeologist, Paul Barford (a.k.a. Warsaw Wally).



Over on a certain Warsaw blog site where miscellaneous claptrap masquerades as educated opinion, and rarely fails to disappoint, has just had a top-up of the usual ad hominem and sexist insults. It’s all quite amusing, though it says more about those who commit this kind of nonsense than those on the receiving end of the vitriol.

The latest effort is a classic, laced with latent envy.  The Warsaw blog’s chief scribe informs us that Roberta Mazza, a Classics lecturer and Ancient Historian at the University of Manchester (UK) wrote a screed on her blog under the attention-grabbing title, ‘Papyri, private collectors and academics: why the wife of Jesus and Sappho matter,’ giving intricate details about a fragment of papyri. The Warsaw blogger quotes Ms Mazza thus:

“Dirk Obbink does not provide any detail on acquisition circumstances and documents in the final publication of what is now called in papyrological language ‘P. Sapp. Obbink’, just out (Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 189, 2014, 32-49).

The Warsaw scribbler then adds a rider:

“It seems rather unfortunate that somebody (Dr Obbink himself?) chose the scholar’s name to define the papyrus. It rather suggests he himself is the owner.  Is he? How come?” 

Is Wally on a Roll?

So, the famed Dr Dirk Obbink of Oxford University has secured a place in posterity by having an important piece of papyri named in his honour? Well not too worry I say to our Warsaw-based comrade, an internationally respected, academic colossus; you have your place in posterity too. Another type of paper exists that certainly reveres your memory…it comes on a roll of about 240 perforated sheets and usually found in the smallest, public room in most museums.




“The United States of America became the envy of the world because we welcomed the best and brightest minds from anywhere on the planet and gave them the opportunity to succeed” (I guess the dunces went East, Dick) ……Naveen Jain


I’ll see you in the bar

John Howland




Filed under Metal Detecting

22 responses to “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?

  1. jamie

    Doing my first seeded hunt and it was 95 bucks. I don’t mind the fee since besides having the chance to win something, I get the opportunity to meet like minded folks who I share this hobby with…for better or worse.

  2. DonM

    I used to go to the organized hunts on a regular basis until the last one a few years ago when I overheard one of the members who was doing the planting talking to someone who was actually hunting telling him to head over to a certain tree saying “it’s over there” and guess who won the top of a line detector token…..not saying that all hunts are like that but that turned me off of organized hunts for good.

  3. Never mind rallies…there’s a law going through Mass. that could well become the model legislative law to be used to finally end metal detecting in the US. Yes, it’s out there now.
    Mostly, hobbyists are sleepwalking to oblivion! You read it here first!

    Golf is a good alternative!

  4. This is Mass. this is what they do! They take away your rights and charge you more taxes. I would NEVER!!!!! pay for a seeded hunt!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. If it is a silver or gold hunt, I can understand the price increase. Say we want at least 50 targets per hunter, if it was just silver (90%) dimes on the field that means the fee should be around $100. Some hunts are still using the $3 per dime cost of a few years ago and have not reduced the entry fee since. Just hope they adjusted the number of targets per hunter to justify the price.

    “just how out of touch I am.”
    Don’t worry Dick, we all knew you were a little touched in the head, after all you metal detect!

    • Mike I guess I tend to look at things differently now that I am older. I look at an entry fee today and calculate in my mind how many silver coins I could buy for that amount. Then again I also remember having a helluva lot of fun at hunts way back when…

      And yes I am touched in the head. My wife reminds me of this daily…..

  6. Big Tony from Bayonne

    A sign of the times for both of these items….cost of club hunts and rights taken away. I agree it does seem high at first glance or if you haven’t been to a hunt in many years. I remember those days when the cost was much lower and it was much easier to recover the hunt fees with prizes or the amount of the finds that you were able to scoop up.

    I really don’t understand enough of what is happening in Mass. I will have to dig a little deeper into the facts.

    At the end of the day I still enjoy club hunts even if it is only to show support for our rights by gathering together and having a good old time with our friends.

    • Further clarification on the Massachusetts matter….Allyson Cohen received the following:


      Hi Allyson,

      I don’t know who you talked to but apparently whoever it was wasn’t standing on the beach with me when the DCR Ranger told me metal detecting is not allowed :-/

      All I know is that I was approached on a beach that myself and many others have been detecting for many years and that Ranger told me that metal detecting was not allowed on DCR (Dept. of Conservation & Recreation) beaches, and come July 1st (because the “code” is not on the tickets yet) that anyone seen detecting would be ticketed and told to leave.

      That’s where I am coming from.

      Apparently the rules were promulgated last year and a public hearing was held in November of 2013 that I certainly wasn’t aware of otherwise I would have been there.

      Below is the regulation regarding metal detecting on the DCR beaches. It is now in place and they are now going to enforce it.


      Section 12.00:
      12.04: Rules of Conduct on DCR Properties — Generally

      h. Use or offer for use metal detectors, except with permission from DCR personnel, for the purposes of locating lost personal property.
      i. Conduct research which may damage, disturb or remove any DCR property or resource, real, natural, personal, cultural or historic.

      All I know is what I was told by the DCR Ranger while I was metal detecting on Nahant Beach in Massachusetts.

      Any advice your organization might have would be greatly appreciated. I am not sending or delivering the petition until I am sure that it will be helpful and not hurtful.


      Roger Barbrick
      Admin; Dirtscanner’s Metal Detecting (facebook group)
      Admin; Military Veterans Metal Detecting

  7. I received a comment yesterday regarding this prior post and it’s somewhat related to the potential problem in Massachusetts. Hopefully someone from the FMDAC can bring us all up to date….

    • Ben

      Thanks Roger for starting this petition. I think it is a good idea to let government officials know that there are people out there that are watching what they are doing and care about this hobby. I feel that we need to stop this sort of legislation before it spreads which will make it much harder to change once implemented. Keep us up to date. Thanks.

  8. There’s only a dedicated few who have drawn a line in the sand and declared to the archaeo-led bureaucracies running parks and beaches: enough is enough!

    The rest — the sick, lame, and lazy — couldn’t give a toss; yet, they will soak up the advances others have made on their behalf. We have these shysters in the UK too, some of whom are queuing-up to give Wally a BJ and anyone else who’ll bring about draconian legislation on the heads of detectorists.

    • And they have no idea of what has happened up to this point nor do they understand that they have been had. Apparently it’s cool to go with the academics and their ongoing efforts to discredit our pastime.

  9. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Yeah, with the economy the way is and many of us are out of work ….you would think that they would let recreational hobbies alone…let folks have an outlet to enjoy the sand and surf.

    Hopefully we can muster the effort and all go beach detecting on this Mass beach this June to show support and demand our rights back.

    Also you need to find out if these Rangers are qualified. I hear they have hired some temporary rangers for NYC beaches. Some of these exercise to much authority when not necessary. After all how do detectors and shovels hinder the beach? Sand just gets sifted and the trash is removed, unlike many beach goers that I see on beaches.

    • “Yeah, with the economy the way is and many of us are out of work ….you would think that they would let recreational hobbies alone…let folks have an outlet to enjoy the sand and surf.”

      Because there are special interests behind most all these attempts to ban our pastime….can you say archaeologists?

  10. To answer your question, I would never do a seeded hunt, and I currently own 4 detectors. 🙂

  11. Lisa MacIntyre

    John…I just don’t get that guy. He is like damned if you do and damned if you don’t. He complains that I am maintaining my stubborn silence like I am required to respond to his incredibly bi-polar remarks. Like my credibility hinges on his approval. I rather think my credibility hinges on my utter disrespect and opposition for anything that comes out of his mouth. My sanity hinges on this as well. I just cant do crazy. I have much more important things to deal with in my life.

  12. Hya Lisa:

    Ha! Why worry about what he thinks? Who he anyway? You can’t be any more detested that I am by him and his cronies.

    We all move on…things to do…important things. The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on…is how one former US diplomat referred to his inane and constant bickering. Leave him to the political midgets.


    John H

  13. Packrat

    Hi all…I do hunts all the time. Prices have gone up but so has the cost of silver and gold. I have put on hunts big and small and people have always said they were fun and fair. Prize tokens should be colored coins that let you draw a number and the number matches a prize in a prize book. Nobody can plant the good token in a certain area. One hunt I put on I won a detector fair and square and donated it back to be drawn for from the contestants in the hunt.

    In a couple weeks I am going to a hunt that cost $300 for the weekend. Last year was the same and I came back with almost $600 worth of stuff – no big prize. If you are skilled and lucky you can do alright in a fair hunt. Just do your homework on the hunt and make sure if they are expensive that the club knows what it is doing.

    • “Just do your homework on the hunt and make sure if they are expensive that the club knows what it is doing”….Larry how does one do that?

      • Packrat

        One of the easiest ways is talk to hunters that are not club members who have attended the hunt what they think of it. If the group has been putting a hunt on for a number of years it probably is ok, especially if there are other similar events in the area.

        Contact the hunt’s sponsor before you enter and ask them what the breakdown per person is. If they are OK they should have no problem sharing that info There are always ways to cheat but what fun is that? Good hunts should always include making new friends and having fun together.

  14. Good advice Larry…thanks and hi to everyone in the greater Northwest.

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